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Head Host & Kitchen Manager

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A Big Experiment: How Rachel Skiera Took a Chance to Chase Adventure

Devils Tower Lodge

Any successful experiment requires the willingness to simply try something you haven’t tried before. To adjust the limits. Tweak the inputs. Record the results. Repeat.

For Rachel Skiera, head chef and lead housekeeper at Devils Tower Lodge, perfecting recipes for dozens of hungry rock climbers can feel like a daily experiment all on its own. Even if the kitchen is a bit different than her former laboratory.

“I studied biochemistry in college,” she says, “so it wasn’t really on the radar to come out here. At the beginning, a lot of it was figuring it out. Figuring out how to feed 25 people every night.”

But before she ever stepped into the kitchen at the lodge, it was Devils Tower National Monument that called to her. “I loved visiting. I loved hiking and running and the freedom that came with being out here.”

So, when the opportunity to work at the lodge arose, it was an adventure she couldn’t pass up. And though she didn’t have the previous professional cooking experience she wished she might have, she found herself in unexpectedly familiar territory.

“Growing up, I had a little bit of a bigger family and a big community. So, I grew up making big dinners, or cooking with my grandmother, and learning all her cookie and cake recipes. I always enjoyed that,” she says. “And I liked the idea of running a lodge where people could find community and come together.”

And despite its remote location, people come together from all over the world at Devils Tower Lodge. Once, around the dinner table, she and a group of German climbers realized her extended family was from near the same town they were.

In between morning and evening shifts working with guests, she gets to do the things she loves most. Running the trails around the tower or heading up for a climb of her own. But what she looks forward to more than anything else? An icy Wyoming winter. And not necessarily because things slow down at the lodge.

“In the winter, it’s a lot of emails and phone calls. And a lot of time to play, too. Ice climbing is definitely my favorite part about living in Wyoming. Just being out in the snow and the conditions, and pushing yourself.”

Find a career in Wyoming hospitality


  • Culinary focus – ProStart allows you to work and learn
  • UW program focuses on outdoor rec, tourism and hospitality
  • Community colleges offering Hospitality and Tourism Management certifications and degree
  • Community colleges offering Outdoor Recreation certifications and degrees

Towering mountains. Rushing rivers. Welcoming communities.